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Box Office: ‘No Time to Die’ debuts slightly behind expectations with $56 million

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Daniel Craig poses during the world premiere of the new James Bond film "No Time To Die" at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

“No Time to Die,” the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, debuted to $56 million at the domestic box office, a result that fell somewhat short of expectations and signals that even one of the most storied brands in film history is still being forced to contend with a moviegoing landscape that has been dramatically altered by the pandemic.

Heading into the weekend, “No Time to Die” was projected to make $60 million to $70 million in its first three days of release. Though not a disaster, the film’s final weekend total was expected to be higher because it received positive reviews and represented Daniel Craig’s final outing as the stylish secret agent.

For some movies, especially during a pandemic, an opening weekend of $56 million would be cause for great jubilation. But “No Time to Die” is no ordinary film.

It carries a massive $250 million production budget, to say nothing of the more than $100 million marketing spend. Add in the tens of millions it cost to delay “No Time to Die,” which was supposed to premiere in April of 2020 before the pandemic altered those plans, and box office experts estimate that “No Time to Die” would need to make at least $800 million at the global box office to make money exclusively in its theatrical window.

At the domestic box office, the slightly muted results for “No Time to Die” are attributable to several factors, including hesitation among older audiences to return to the movies and its lengthy 2 hours 45 minutes runtime, which limited the number of screenings per day. It’s also the first Hollywood tentpole with real competition at the box office. Sony’s comic book sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” opened last weekend and has continued to pull in crowds, which may have cannibalized ticket sales for Bond.

With “No Time to Die” claiming the No. 1 spot on domestic box office charts, the “Venom” follow-up slid to second place with $32 million, a figure that’s more than many pandemic-era releases have made in their entire theatrical run. In total, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” has generated a mighty $141 million in North America and $185 million worldwide.

In a distant third place on domestic charts, “The Addams Family 2” generated $10 million, bringing its North American total to $31.1 million. The animated family comedy, from MGM and United Artists Releasing, is being offered simultaneously on premium video-on-demand platforms.

Disney’s superhero adventure “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” landed at No. 4 with $4.2 million in its sixth weekend in theaters. Globally, the Marvel comic book adaptation has surpassed $400 million worldwide, making it the sixth-highest grossing film of the year. With $212 million in North America, it remains the highest earning movie of 2021 at the domestic box office.

“The Many Saints of Newark,” a prequel to “The Sopranos,” rounded out the top five with a paltry $1.4 million in its sophomore outing. That puts ticket sales for the Warner Bros. movie, which premiered day-and-date on HBO Max, at a dismal $7.4 million. It cost $50 million to make.

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